Anyone want to take bets on what this astronaut was listening to? This is a short silent video of Thomas Pesquet, a European astronaut, doing a dance in the kitchen during NEEMO 18 — the latest NASA underwater mission to test asteroid technologies.
The challenge of NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (and of living in space in general) is finding ways to stay entertained in isolated, confined environments. A lot of that comes down to group dynamics — having the team work well together. But there also is the need to have your own leisure time, and find the time to relax in between the packed activities.
And NEEMO 18, which began July 21, has been having extremely busy days. The nine-day mission aims to test out technologies that could be used for a human asteroid mission. The astronauts have been testing out techniques, for example, to do geological sampling with a 10-minute time delay in communications.
You can follow the NEEMO mission at their Twitter account, and catch more live views of the astronauts in these cameras. Pesquet will fly to the International Space Station in 2016.
How do we send humans to asteroids or Mars? While the answer is complex, one part of it is to say “a simulation mission at a time.” That’s one of the roles of the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) project, which now is seeing its 18th crew temporarily live in a habitat 62 feet beneath the Atlantic Ocean’s waves.
Astronauts spend time in the small Aquarius habitat and every so often, venture outside — including right now that goes until about 1 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. UTC). Luckily for us virtual aquanauts, there are six possible livestreams to choose from — so have fun figuring out which is the best view! You can catch all the action at this web page.
And if you miss today’s, another one is scheduled for tomorrow around 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT (1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. UTC).
The NEEMO 18 crew includes Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), NASA astronauts Jeanette Epps and Mark Vande Hei, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet.
“Today, during EVA tasks, Aki and Jeanette will deploy the boom, set up the core drill, and use it to collect samples from the ocean floor,” the NEEMO Facebook page stated.
Learn more about the mission on the NEEMO website.